‘Failed 2nd place… ’ This is what I used to follow like a tag to Han Hee-won (29‧195cm), who is currently playing as a forward for Suwon kt Sonic Boom. The barrier to becoming a pro is high, so it is common for even players who excelled in college to fail to adapt properly and perform sluggishly. In such a situation, he has averaged 3.64 points, 0.56 assists and 1.82 rebounds in 208 games so far.
Nevertheless, the reason why Han Hee-won was left with a voice of regret was largely because he was ranked second overall. It can be said that the part where he is steadily continuing his career as a player in the KBL league, where every game is a jungle-like competition for survival, is great enough, but it is also true that it seems to fall short compared to the expectations placed on him in the first place.
The fact that the players selected before and after him are KGC (1st place) Moon Seong-gon (29‧195.6cm) and KCC (3rd place) Song Gyo-chang (26‧201.3cm) adds to the regret. As the nickname ‘Moon Gil-dong’ suggests, Moon Seong-gon has a reputation as the best defensive forward in the league with his tremendous amount of activity.
He shows that he can dominate the game with defense and hustle play, just like team senior Hee-Jong Yang did. Because he is a player who contributes a lot to the team in a positive way, there are many fans who want him to become a franchise star following Yang Hee-jong and Oh Se-geun.
Looking at their appearances so far, Song Gyo-chang is the player who is producing the best results in the 2015 draft. As a result, it is not an exaggeration to say that it is ranked number one. Not only his skills, but also the fact that he is 3 years younger than his draft mates at the time is a big plus. At the time of nomination, he was only a promising player, but now he has established himself as the best forward representing the country.
Despite being taller than 2m, he can run down the court with guard-level speed and is good at both drive-ins and 3-point shots. In addition, he has good ball handling, so he is an all-weather player who can even play the role of a guard depending on the situation. He was the first high school graduate to become the regular league MVP. As proven in the national team, he is regarded as a player with many uses because he can play the role of not only an ace but also an iron man who mainly plays with dirty work.
Despite being a player with a strong image as a defender, Moon Seong-gon averages 5.99 points, 4.25 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.43 steals in 270 games. Song Gyo-chang, who is currently serving in the military at Sangmu, averaged 11.85 points, 4.91 rebounds, 1.75 assists and 0.85 steals in 259 games.
As Han Hee-won, who had become caught between Moon Seong-gon and Song Gyo-chang, there was no choice but to be followed by more cold-hearted evaluations. If you just look at it as a professional player, you can see it as a good bench resource, but considering the nomination list.
From Han Hee-won’s point of view, the best picture was to remain as a franchise star by consistently playing in E-Land. She was born in Incheon and attended elementary, middle, and high school in the region, so her symbolism was high. Unfortunately, due to sluggish results, he could not play for his hometown team for a while. After KGC, he is currently playing for Suwon kt. Although the place of origin has now disappeared, it is a pity from the point of view of former E-Land, which had no franchise stars to stand out compared to other teams, and Han Hee-won, a native of Incheon.
Unfortunately, he is being compared to national team players such as Moon Seong-gon and Song Gyo-chang, but there is something that should not be overlooked here. It is true that they did not do well from the beginning either. Moon Seong-gon took an elite course to the extent that he had already played for the national team during his college days, but as a pro, he experienced a harsh winter at KGC, which has a thick player base.
Because he was pushed by his outstanding seniors, he hardly received proper business trip time, and he was also in a hurry, so he often made mistakes in his impatient mind that he had to show something when he appeared on the court. The same goes for Song Gyo-chang. Since I jumped straight into the pros without going through college, I lacked experience in many ways, and I needed time to adapt to not only technical problems, but also outside of basketball. Fortunately, KCC identified him as the future of the team early on and gave him time to grow slowly over time, so he was able to grow into a definite franchise star.
It is true that he was sluggish compared to his draft competitors, but Han Hee-won is not too late yet. Although he is only his age, he is still in his 20s and has enough competitiveness in terms of physical condition. His talent is also sufficient, as can be seen from the fact that he served as the main gun after Min-gu Kim and Jong-gyu Kim graduated from Kyunghee University.
As if to prove this, Han Hee-won has recently been reborn as an indispensable presence at KT. In the meantime, he has mainly played the role of a stopper to mark the opponent’s ace. In some ways, it was a bit unfamiliar situation. However, he quietly completed his mission, earned the trust of the coaching staff, and his performance gradually increased.
His current record of 19 minutes is the most minutes played since his debut. In the match against KCC on the 10th, he stepped on the court for 31 minutes and 45 seconds. It may not be a big deal for players who have been active as a starting player for a long time, but from Han Hee-won’s point of view, it has a sufficiently important meaning. He seems to be gradually improving his offensive balance, which he had lost as he played the game longer.
He doesn’t throw a lot of shots, but he is also learning efficient basketball, which increases his success rate. He is currently averaging 6.57 points, 1.05 assists, 2.76 rebounds and 0.71 steals in 21 games. He corresponds to an individual career high, even including his rookie days, which were at least decent. Considering that he has gained confidence at the peak, he is expected to improve further by the end of the season. Han Hee-won’s actions remind me of the phrase ‘It’s not over until it’s over’.